When should I retake the ACT?

When should I retake the ACT?

Improving your score by retaking

According to ACT, over half of the students who take the test a second time do better than they did on the first test. However, ACT also notes that the higher your score is on a test, the less likely it is that you will improve your score by taking the test again.

No matter when you decide to retake the ACT, remember that colleges only consider your highest score although they will have access to all your previous scores. Starting in 2020, the ACT will allow you to retake only sections of the test instead of taking the entire test. You can sign up to only take one or two sections of the ACT again. See NY Times article for more details.

For most students, taking the test at least twice is a good idea. Certainly this means more studying, paying the test fees and going through the stress of test-taking, but it is often worth it. Going into the test a second time, you have a better idea of what to expect and have more direct experience with taking the actual test.

We all have off-days, so perhaps you were feeling ill or tired or just didn't prepare for it well the first time. In these cases it might be a good idea to retake the test. If your ACT score didn't live up to your score on the practice test you took at home, then this might be another reason to retake.

Many students take the test once during their Junior year and once in their senior year. Many states offer senior retake days to allow for students to improve their score and qualify for state scholarships.

How far is my current score from my ideal score?

Students have a specific score that they expect to attain based on practice tests and aspirations. One of the biggest temptations is to retake the test until the ideal score has been achieved - this can be a great idea! However, the difference in score isn't always worth it. Sometimes retaking the ACT makes sense when the ideal score is within reach and opens up significant opportunities for college in terms of scholarships.

How do I find my ideal score?

If you have a set of colleges in mind, you can locate the average score of admitted students. You can navigate to the college's website and look for this information in the admissions section or simply doing a search.

Do I have time?

The ACT requires registration well in advance, roughly six weeks from test day at a minimum. Do you have time between now and the test day to adequately prepare for a retake? When are your college applications due? What's the last test date you can take for your schools to still consider it? You can use our chatbot "Rita" to find test dates.

Do I have a strategy to improve my score?

Retaking the ACT without a concrete strategy that address questions like what went wrong the last time, what content areas do I plan to master or score better on will not produce the result one is hoping for. The ACT score report provides some information on which content areas offer the most opportunity for growth. Do you have access to content that will help you focus on these opportunities. How much time do you need and plan to spend on the retake?

How can Analyze Ed help with the retake?

Analyze Ed's AI engine can take your score and recommend content areas in each of the four test that offer the most opportunity for improvement. We can also estimate the time you will require to prepare and master the content.

See what our AI engine has to say